Last weekend Mundunsa went to Hamburg Model United Nations where they spent four days representing a country in a mock session of the United Nations. This is their experience!
In the early morning at the Flixbus Station at a rainy and dreary Station Sloterdijk the delegation of Mundunsa was gathered for the bus to Hamburg. After a long bus ride to Hamburg – an opportunity for several delegates to sharpen their knowledge of the topic they would be discussing and the country they would be representing – they arrived for the opening conference, which hosted a speaker from NATO that was flown in by the organization. After the obligatory speeches and pounding of the hammer, the Mundunsa delegates were off to their different committees.
Kevin represented Botswana in the Economic and Social Committee. The main topic of the conference would be trade for which Kevin came prepared. Referring to Smith and Ricardo he addressed the committee often. Botswana might be a small country but within a MUN each vote counts for the same and Kevin made his vote count! Denis was representing Ethiopia in the United Nation Office on Drugs and Criminality (UNODC). His perspective was unique bringing the experience of his country with Khat-abuse to the table and he was instrumental at drafting the resolutions.
Hannah was in the United Nations Environmental Program. For most of the conference they discussed water scarcity, a very relevant topic for the country she was representing: Australia. While the committee might have agreed that it’s a problem, she often found herself disagreeing about the possible solutions. Konstantin and Liora were both in the European Council representing Lithuania and the Czech Republic respectively the main topic being migration. Both weren’t happy about the idea of reforming the Dublin Regulations and having to host more migrants. For a short period, Konstantin changed countries when Greece didn’t show up. When Greece (a day and a half too late) did eventually show up he graciously changed back. Both did extremely well in maintaining the Dublin Regulations as much as possible.
Two of our delegates were in a bit of a different committee: a crisis committee. This is a committee with less rules, focused on responding to a (historical) crisis with more personal freedom. Delegates represent a person and not a country. The goal is not to draft a resolution that reflects your views the most but to advance your personal goals the most, if necessary by bold-faced backstabbing. Bas was in the Austrian Cabinet during the Second Schleswig War playing a Hungarian noble. Thanks to his efforts Hungary erupted in revolution against Habsburg rule which led to him being expelled to Prussia. Jared was the main general of the Roman Empire: Aetius, defending against Barbarian invasions and the impending fall of Rome.
In between committee sessions there was plenty of room for social activities. On 3 out of 4 nights Bas managed to eat hamburgers in Hamburg. Every evening there were social activities ranging from a pub crawl through the historical city center of Hamburg, to a silent disco in a nightclub on the Reeperbahn [If you feel the Amsterdam Red Light District is dirty and shady, try visiting the Reeperbahn – Patrick], to a very fancy black-tie ball, ironically held in the left-wing anarchist squat neighborhood of St. Pauli. The social elements of the trip contributed to several delegates having to do dances or read out verses from Fifty Shades of Grey as punishment for coming in late.
Liora – one of our more experienced delegates, having earned her stripes at MUNs organized by Oxford and Harvard students – won a best delegate award in the European Council, leading the block of Eastern European countries into negotiations with the rest of Europe and managing to get a favorable resolution passed. No small feat in a committee where all decisions can only be passed unanimously. Denis got an honorable mention for his performance as Ethiopia in UNODC, being instrumental in drafting the resolution. In a committee with over 40 delegates and having never done a MUN before this is incredibly good.
Jared in his crisis committee also got a best delegate award using his language and problem-solving skills to help protect the Roman Empire from a barbarian invasion – at least temporarily. At one point he even had a rap battle with a Barbarian King. With two best delegate awards and an honorable mention our delegation has performed well in the awards, but it must be emphasized that all our delegates did extremely well, Bas and Jared doing crisis for the first time, and with the exception of Liora and Konstantin (who did it at high school before) all other delegates doing MUN for the first time. We are looking forward to our next MUN in Madrid. After this registration opens again and many in the current delegation are looking to Tel Aviv as a possible MUN destination this summer.
We couldn’t be prouder of our delegates and their hard work. On the bus ride back to Amsterdam few delegates were be able to keep their eyes open.